Sunday, June 29, 2014

Back On Old Mount Adams

                                                        An original oil painting on canvas panel
                                                        20x24" unframed
                                                        $2,000.00 - ( plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     Mount Adams is a very old, residential, district, which rises up sharply to a high
elevation along the top and steep sloping sides of a hill, bordering the eastern side of
Cincinnati Ohio's central, downtown area. The lofty elevation of the hill provides sweeping
views, down to the central city and along the Ohio River Valley.

     In the early to mid 1960's, when I first saw Mount Adams, it still had the feel of stepping
back in time, to visit an old European, hill town.  For many decades, the district of mixed
nineteenth century homes had been bypassed and ignored, as the city had expanded far
out to the suburbs. A large freeway had even been sliced right through the hill, to
speed up the traffic, to and from the newer, suburban, housing communities, which also
served to further isolate Mount Adams.

     However, by the time of my arrival, Mount Adams had been rediscovered.  Artists
were attracted to the quaint charms of the little streets, which curved up and down the
steep terrain, lined by the houses which were like visions from the past.  Mount Adams
rapidly became the hip place to be, for the younger generations.  Night spots began to
flourish, and more people wanted to live close to this new, lively, social scene that had
developed there.

     That newborn popularity (and the new opportunities for profit), were what attracted
the investors who began buying up the uniquely, quaint, old homes, in order to
"redevelop" Mount Adams.  But unfortunately, as it usually does, the redevelopment
consisted of tearing down rows of the charming, old houses, and replacing them with
bland, modern, apartment buildings, thus destroying the very qualities which had drawn
people back to the hill in the first place.  Such was the case with one street of houses
which I depicted in a painting I showed in a previous posting, which is called
Ten Ten Celestial; those houses were long ago destroyed and replaced by an
apartment building.  
     I have not revisited Mount Adams in the years since I finished this painting of a steep,
little intersection.  Those tidy, little nineteenth century dwellings, had been huddling there
together through many decades of historic changes, but it was uncertain how much longer
they were going to survive.  The flickering sunlight and shadows, filtering through the
breaking clouds in the painting, seem to forecast greater changes yet to come.

     I don't know what that area looks like now, but my guess is that most, if not all of those
houses have been demolished and replaced with boring and uninteresting structures.
This is a painting of another time and another place, which will not be seen again, except
in someone's dreams.
                                                               ( click on image to enlarge )